C3 Bumpers: Chrome or Plastic?

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The C3’s Wild Shape Made the C2 Look Instantly Dated. But The Plastic Bumpers Introduced in ’74 Are a Whole ‘Nother Story

Looks are always subjective, and rarely can we agree on them. There are folks here at Corvette Forum who will laud the looks of one generation, and not even give a second glance to another. But for this post, we’ll narrow it down to just one Corvette generation, and the complete change it made during its mid-run re-styling. As you guessed, we are taking a closer look at the the C3, and asking you if it looks better with chrome or plastic bumpers.

There’s no doubt the C3 was stunning, with many forum members saying the C2 was instantly yesterday’s news. That’s saying a lot, too. But thinking of the times, 1968 and the surrounding years started to see the swooping lines of imported sports cars. Initially, chrome bumpers were an integral part of the Corvette’s design. They clung tightly to the contours of the car, and added an understated flash. But the C3 wasn’t at all like the C2 it replaced.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About ‘The Bumper Situation’

After 6 years of chrome, crash impact regulations saw a switch over to plastic bumpers. While some cars got ugly as a result (a few British sports cars come to mind) the Corvette seemed instead to evolve with the times. With the absence of chrome, the front end took on a more svelte, low, and sharp character. It was still very much a C3, but the differences were almost as profound as the C4’s refresh.

So which do you prefer? Chrome or plastic?

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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